If you haven’t noticed, McAllen, Texas has a booming culinary scene, and one of the talented chefs leading the charge is Chef Adam Cavazos. As the Chef/Owner of Bodega Tavern & Kitchen, Chef Adam combines the art of gastronomy with local, South Texas flavors in an upscale and inviting environment. But what really sets Bodega apart is it takes the farm-to-table concept to another level, sourcing most of the materials used in the decor locally.
“The tables were locally made, the artwork on the wall was done by one of our cooks. I wanted to take the whole ‘buy local produce’ concept and take that further and really do as much as I could locally,” said Chef Adam.
To see someone take the idea of repurposing buildings and materials is truly amazing. Knowing the planks that make the bar were someone’s home at one time, gives the room a life of its own. Even with the furniture you can feel the passion and attention to detail as you sit on the soft, burnt orange, leather banquette bench.
“The wood underneath the bar and on the split came from a house in Falfurrias. They heard we were looking for old wood and told me they had this killer wood that was in terrible shape, but for what we wanted, it was incredible so we picked it up. We even had a local guy hand-stitch each one of the buttons on the banquette. ”
The centerpiece of the restaurant is its curing room. It’s the first thing you notice when you walk into Bodega. What used to be a huge fish tank now houses an assortment of meats hanging on hooks in front of a large window that gives patrons a look inside a sterile, white tiled room where they cure their own meats in-house.
“Jaime Martinez is our charcuterie guy. Anything you see on the menu under house-cured meats, that’s his department. The room is at a constant 60 degrees and is totally insulated. We plan on rotating meats in and out of room as they cure.”
From local takes on traditional cocktails to an in-house curing room and locally sourced furniture and decor, Bodega Tavern & Kitchen has upped the ante when it comes to upscale eateries in South Texas. I encourage everyone to stop by for a drink, grab a bite and ask your server or bartender questions because the story is just as good as the food.
Insider Tip: Try El Jimador, Bodega’s
tequila take on a traditional Old Fashioned
Photo Credit: Brndhub